Author Topic: Wheel building information  (Read 1464 times)

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Offline IR8D8R

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Wheel building information
« on: September 09, 2020, 02:33:08 PM »
Guys,
 I am contemplating building a set of aluminum rims for my '73 RD 350 cafe bike using stock hubs/drum rear brake. I have spares. My stock wheels are wobbly and old.

This is for street use. Everyone seems to have high regard for Buchanan. Are there other sources I should consider? One-stop has a lot of convenience.

I realized while perusing the Buchanan site that there are many different options and I don't know which things to select or why.

--Rim type, brand, and size. 18". What is the upper rim width limit and tire size for an RD rear wheel with stock swingarm?

--Spoke type, material, and gauge. I was thinking stainless...? Are there optional lacing patterns or do you reproduce the stock wheel?

--Nipple material. If using stainless spokes is there a superior choice? Stainless steel to stainless steel threaded joints can cause problems.

What are the pros and cons of shouldered, dimpled, Vs. non-... rims. Leaning towards non-shouldered. No idea why dimpled or smooth.

Sun, Excel, Borrani? The differences in appearance are not all that significant to me.

I don't need polished, painted, or chrome. Matte aluminum color is just fine for spokes, nipples and rim.

A discussion similar to the recent swingarm thread would be great. What have people done for wheels? The collective knowledge here is a wonderful thing!

IR8D8R

Offline m in sc

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2020, 02:37:45 PM »
Nathan built mine with the smooth gold sun rims from Buchanans. i have to say, they are really great.   :cheerleader:

Had my local guy do more what you are looking for on the lightweight, simple aluminum takasago hoops.  I have zero desire to build wheels.

My local guy charges less that 100 per wheel and hes fast and really good. look at dirt bike places.  Nathan is a hidden guru at wheels, if you can get him to talk hes a wealth of knowledge.  :haw:

thats all i have to contribute.


Offline Dvsrd

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2020, 02:49:59 PM »
I have shouldered Morad (Akront) polished, shouldered rims on my RD350, built by Hagons in the UK, with SS spokes. And oem, anodized, shouldered Takasago rims on my 77 XS650. Both are hard to keeper clean and shiny, as they act as a sludge trap, and also collect rain when parked.
They do look great when clean, but I would be happier with non-shouldered rims on a bike that sees regular use.

Offline sav0r

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2020, 02:50:56 PM »
I bought the MikesXS shouldered anodized wheels and stainless spokes.

I built them myself. They aren’t race quality but they are plenty good for 100mph. It took me an no hour or two to lace them up. It’s not hard but not exactly fun, IMO.

It’s been so long I don’t remember what it cost.
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Offline Czakky

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2020, 05:10:11 PM »
I built wheels last winter. Make yourself a good wheel holder and watch a few YouTube videos. It’s a bit fussy but I did pretty well for my first time.

Offline oxford

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 05:20:01 PM »
I have a set of excels and stainless spokes from Buchanan’s.  It’s not really hard to build wheels, just takes a little time if you don’t do it all the time.   Buchanan’s supplies a “lube” for the stainless to stainless contact.  I’ve done 2 sets using it and haven’t had a problem.

I have a truing stand but you really don’t need one, you can just as easily do it with the wheels mounted on the bike.

Be prepared for some sticker shock if going with Buchanan’s, it’s not cheap.

Offline retaRD

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Wheel building information
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 07:30:25 PM »
Guys,
 I am contemplating building a set of aluminum rims for my '73 RD 350 cafe bike using stock hubs/drum rear brake. I have spares. My stock wheels are wobbly and old.

This is for street use. Everyone seems to have high regard for Buchanan. Are there other sources I should consider? One-stop has a lot of convenience.

I realized while perusing the Buchanan site that there are many different options and I don't know which things to select or why.

--Rim type, brand, and size. 18". What is the upper rim width limit and tire size for an RD rear wheel with stock swingarm?

--Spoke type, material, and gauge. I was thinking stainless...? Are there optional lacing patterns or do you reproduce the stock wheel?

--Nipple material. If using stainless spokes is there a superior choice? Stainless steel to stainless steel threaded joints can cause problems.

What are the pros and cons of shouldered, dimpled, Vs. non-... rims. Leaning towards non-shouldered. No idea why dimpled or smooth.

Sun, Excel, Borrani? The differences in appearance are not all that significant to me.

I don't need polished, painted, or chrome. Matte aluminum color is just fine for spokes, nipples and rim.

A discussion similar to the recent swingarm thread would be great. What have people done for wheels? The collective knowledge here is a wonderful thing!

IR8D8R

I always highly recommend Buchanan’s for wheel parts.  Their quality is the best.  They have a vast database of hub and rim dimensions and can cut and roll spokes for pretty much any application.  I’ve used cheaper “spoke kits” from Taiwan and there is usually and lot of trimming involved.  Also, over time as the spokes de-stress, the wheels loosen a lot more than they should.  The materials just aren’t that great.  You get what you pay for.  I’m very adamant about not skimping on quality wheel parts- safety being the main concern.  That being said, OEM spokes are fine, but typically aren’t as nice of a finish. 

As far as rims, and since you want aluminum, the main choices are Excel, DID, Sun, Borrani, Akront (Morad), etc.
For what you’re looking for I’d recommend Sun or Excel.
Sun rims are manufactured in house at Buchanan’s and are drilled to order.  They’re strong and welded together very true.  I’ve been able to get a tighter truer wheel with them and not fight a wonky weld seam. 
Excel are also very high quality for the same reasons and build a strong wheel.  I run them on my RD.
The base finish on both is usually shiny satin or brushed. 

Stock rims for RD350 I believe is 18x1.6 and 18x1.85. 
You can go a LITTLE wider without issue.
I’m running 18x2.15 and 18x2.5
Personally I wouldn’t go wider but there are applications where more tire is needed.  Here’s Mark’s wide boys, I think he’s running a 3” rear rim:
Edit: 3.5” !!!




Deep drop center refers to the center of the rim where the spokes go through.  After, I wanna say... WM3 the rims typically go deep drop/smaller ERD (effective rim diameter) It’s for tire mounting I believe.

Dimpling mainly serves purpose for strength for certain types of wheel builds.  Typically for wheels with large drum hubs.  The spoke angle becomes very sharp coming out of the rim, to where only about half of the nipple head is contacting the rim.  This causes a lot of stress on the rim hole.    Spokes will loosen as only part of the nipple head beds into the rim and in worse cases can rip a spoke through.  With dimples, the nipple head can recess into a pocket and make full seat contact, distributing the spoke tension evenly under the nipple head.  The same is applied often to mild steel rims for the same reason because the rim wall thickness is so thin.  Aside from that, dimpling is for looks if you want that style. 

Shouldered/high flange rims are a classic style where the idea was by making the sidewall high it would increase the rim strength.  It does, but modern rims and materials surpassed the design.  They look sweet, but as others have said, they call them piss catchers for a reason.  Here’s a set of Akronts I’m getting ready to build:




Spoke crossing is usually depended on hub size/rim size.  Crossing too many spokes with a larger hub will cause the steep spoke angles mentioned above.  2-3 cross is the most common, some show bikes run no cross radial lacing, but they’re show bikes.  Crossing creates torsional strength to the wheel, for drive and braking forces.  I’ve built some wheels where the drive side of the rear hub was 3 cross and the other side was 2 cross.  Same goes for some older conical hubs.
Spoke gauge is dependent on the hubs you have, unless you’re planning on reaming them for a larger gauge for a super strong wheel.  I’ve only don’t this on some MX and flattrack wheels. 
Butting is where the spoke diameter drops down slightly after it passes through the hub.  The spoke doesn’t need to maintain the same thickness all the way down the spoke because most of the stress is at the spoke head where it passes through the hub.  This reduces rotating mass.  There’s different butting options and I mostly see single butted, where the hub side (spoke head) end is thicker. Sometimes you see double butted (on both ends.) You can see the butting in this photo:



There’s no problem using stainless spokes and nipples, but as mentioned you MUST use antiseize.  Buchanan’s stank ass brown goo works fine.  They ship it with their spokes.

If you figure out what rims and spokes you wanna go with and put the order in I can build you your wheels Andrew.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 08:09:12 PM by retaRD »

Offline SoCal250

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 08:01:27 PM »
Wow, that quite the write up! Great info Nathan. :good:
79 Yamaha RD400F     77 Yamaha RD400D     
75 Yamaha RD250B     75 Yamaha RD200B (project)
75 Yamaha RD125B     75 Yamaha RD125B (project)
89 Yamaha FZR400      05 Yamaha FZ6
91 Yamaha TZR250R    02 Aprilia RS250 Cup (sold)

Offline oxford

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 08:04:11 PM »
FWIW, I am also running the same widths as Nathan is above, 2.15 front 2.5 rear. 


Offline sav0r

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 08:09:42 PM »
That is a sticky worthy post if I’ve ever seen one.
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Offline pdxjim

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2020, 10:50:44 PM »
I had a set of Morad rims laced to the stock hubs for my TDR.

I got the rims and spoke kits in supermoto sizes (3.5x17 and 4.25x17) from CWC in the UK as they had the spoke sizes on file, but CWC somehow fcuked up the spokes, and I ended up shipping the rims and hubs to Buchanans and had them cut new spokes and loose lace them.  I also ended up with an extra rear rim as the gold anno was stained badly on the first one.

I had a local shop here detail the lacing and true them.

It was a long and expensive journey, but well worth it in the long run.

It runs a 110/60/17 in the front and either a 150 or 140/70/17 in the rear.  Probably too fat for the stock RD front mudguard and the rear swinger/chain too.



With the recent popularity of the 300/390/400 class bikes, there are way more sticky radial midsize tires available now.  I'd do some research on what these bikes run, and maybe head that direction if I was building a set of wheels for an RD.

EDIT:  Those modern bikes all run 17's which *may* lead to some clearance and drag issues with stock(ish) suspension.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 11:23:02 PM by pdxjim »
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Offline rodneya

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 01:10:36 PM »
Cognito Moto has quite a good selection of rims and spokes as well, along with other cool stuff.

Offline Coop07

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2020, 08:02:06 PM »
Sorry to bring this thread back up, but I have a question for you guys.

When I look on the Buchanan website under Sun or Excel rims I see 1.85x18 and 2.15x18 or larger, but no 1.60x18 (stock size for front).  Is there any issue in running the 1.85x18 on the front and 2.15x18 on my R5?  Plan on sticking to standard tire sizes of 90/90-18 on the front and 110/90-18 on the rear.

Thanks for the help as this subject is beyond my knowledge base! :umm:

Mike

Offline oxford

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2020, 08:30:39 PM »
Sorry to bring this thread back up, but I have a question for you guys.

When I look on the Buchanan website under Sun or Excel rims I see 1.85x18 and 2.15x18 or larger, but no 1.60x18 (stock size for front).  Is there any issue in running the 1.85x18 on the front and 2.15x18 on my R5?  Plan on sticking to standard tire sizes of 90/90-18 on the front and 110/90-18 on the rear.

Thanks for the help as this subject is beyond my knowledge base! :umm:

Mike

FWIW, I am on the same size tires you mention above and went with Excel 2.15” front and 2.5” rear.

Offline Quicklimegirl

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Re: Wheel building information
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 04:58:05 PM »
[quote author=oxford link=topic=2428.msg21053#msg21053 date=1599686401

I have a truing stand but you really don’t need one, you can just as easily do it with the wheels mounted on the bike.

Be prepared for some sticker shock if going with Buchanan’s, it’s not cheap.
[/quote]

  Thanks for posting this!  I've been wanting to start reassembly of a '72 G5-100 Kawi & had the stock rims rechromed.  As to trying it myself without a truing stand....boy, not sure that's viable. I've never done it. Is it a matter of having a small torque wrench to be sure they're all the exact same tightness. Clueless on this subject.